Saturday, December 29, 2007

Old Year Resolutions

I've been somewhat preoccupied lately and so not posting much, but I think I have resolved to blog every day in the next year, if possible, just to see if it drives me a little crazy the way it used too when I wrote my dreams down in a diary every morning for about six months. (This is not a thing I recommend -- seriously.)

But for better or for worse, on a personal note: after a long illness my mother slipped recently, preferring at last the devil she didn’t know to the medical devils she did.

Not surprisingly, I seized upon the occasion as a chance to listen to myself speak to a captive audience, swooping down on the eulogy spot like the cat on a cockroach. I failed to consider in advance how likely I would be, when at the podium, to turn into a sobbing mess. (True – I should have remembered this from my days in academia.) At the chapel I sat in the front row, waiting for my turn to speak, my composure crumbling like a sandcastle. But at the last minute fate flew to my rescue. Friends of my sister had sent a small bouquet of flowers which ended up by the head of the open casket. By and by, I focused blearily on the lettering along its pendant silver ribbon. Clearly, the authors had intended something more maternal, but had anchored the wrong end of the ribbon to the vase, so, like a cartoon caption, it clearly attributed to Mom the expression, “WOW.”

When the time came to speak, I began by pointing this out to the assembly: “I hope this accurately depicts her sentiments in the matter,” and things proceeded relatively smoothly from there.


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